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Lars Von Trier's "Antichrist" [Mar. 3rd, 2010|06:37 pm]
Ax Wound: Gender & The Horror Genre


Hey all.  I'm working on a review of Lars Von Trier's film "Antichrist".  In particular, I'm examining the widespread accusations of misogyny which were leveled against Von Trier, after the film's debut last year at Cannes. 

I'd be interested to hear from any of you AW readers who have seen "Antichrist".  Did you find the film misogynistic?  If you're also familiar with other Von Trier films (Dancer in the Dark, Dogville, Breaking the Waves...) did that influence how you interpreted "Antichrist"?

If you'd rather, feel free to send me a private message through LJ, rather than replying here.  In fact, that might be a better thing to do, in an effort to avoid spoilers for those who have not see this film.


[User Picture]From: teanut
2010-03-04 04:23 am (UTC)
I haven't seen it and don't think I will just based on the visual imagery that's been described to me.

I would be very much interested to read people's ideas about it tho. I think the nature of this group means that comment sections are to be spoiler-laden so as long as we don't have any spoilers in the post and have a spoiler warning I see no trouble. Based highly on my own interest, of course. ;)
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[User Picture]From: misa1
2010-03-04 04:49 pm (UTC)
I think you're probably correct there. I usually don't worry too much about spoilers. For some movies more than others, I tend towards extra caution with regard to changing peoples experience going in, by knowing too much beforehand. But yeah, as long as comments are posted with warning, hopefully those interested in seeing the film will choose not to read ahead.
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[User Picture]From: teanut
2010-03-05 08:53 am (UTC)
Yes precisely. Also, I love this community so friggin much so any movement is good movement in my books.
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[User Picture]From: amanda_mary
2010-03-04 04:22 pm (UTC)
I have not seen Antichrist yet (is it available on DVD?), as I live in a rural area and have two young children, which doesn't afford me a lot of opportunities to see non-mainstream films in the cinema. (My husband did see it, incidentally, and thinks I might have a disproportionate[-to-the-actual-content]ly emotional reaction with regards to the plot points involving the central couple's child. But I still think I'll take the plunge).

However! I am a big fan and defender of Von Trier. Accusations of misogyny are, as you know, not new to him. I am actually hoping that Antichrist can be viewed as a response to his critics, in some respect ... .

Regardless of whether that is the case, Von Trier has always struck me as more of a misanthrope than misogynist (and, in some instances, his authorial sympathies have been clearly aligned with female characters): equal-opportunity when it comes to his bile-spewing. He is, in a sense, holding a "magical mirror" up to contemporary society and underscoring the pervasive human cruelty and exploitation, often allegorically or via archetypes.

As someone who identifies as a feminist, it is discouraging to see some critics treat Von Trier's (and others') work reductively. Von Trier is so ... shrill (or is perceived as such) ... that there is a tendency to do a face-value "read" of the content without viewing it through a critical lens. Representation does not (always) imply promotion/condoning. Moreover, I don't know if we should let our interpretation of a director's intentions hold as much sway as we do. I'm not a huge Death of the Author acolyte -- but I'm honestly starting to understand why some directors (like David Lynch) prefer to respond ambiguously to demands that they explicate their films' Meaning.

I know ... could this comment be any vaguer?! :-)
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[User Picture]From: misa1
2010-03-04 04:56 pm (UTC)
I actually have the same problem with movies. I live in the suburbs, but I have two young children as well. I got to see Antichrist because it JUST showed up on our Netflix insta-view this past Tuesday. I watched it while doing my late night shift with the baby. :)

If you end up seeing it within the next month or so, I'd love to hear your opinion, especially since you're familiar with his other work.

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[User Picture]From: amanda_mary
2010-03-04 05:11 pm (UTC)
As it happens, I just logged in to our Netflix account, and what do you suppose happened to be one of the "recommended" movies to stream? It's listed as a "cerebral movie." Ha.

When I get the chance to watch it, I'll definitely PM you!

Somewhat relatedly, have you seen this?
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